Soybean cyst nematode awareness campaign moved more farmers to actively manage the pest
The Public Relations Society of America awarded its Silver Anvil Award for excellence in issues management to The SCN Coalition and MorganMyers at PRSA’s annual award ceremony, held May 19 held in New York City’s Edison Ballroom.
The entities were recognized for moving more soybean farmers to actively manage the soybean cyst nematode—the No. 1 yield-grabbing pathogen of the soybean crop in North America—through the campaign entry, The SCN Coalition: Battling A Bug to Improve America’s Soybean Profitability and Sustainability.
The SCN Coalition was formed in 2015 and is a public/checkoff/private partnership formed to increase the number of farmers who are actively managing SCN. The coalition’s goal is to increase soybean farmers’ profit potential and realize higher yields. South Dakota State University has been a partner since the coalition started and five faculty members—Connie Tande, Connie Strunk, Emmanuel Byamukama, Febina Mathew, Dalitso Yabwalo—do research work for the coalition.
In addition to SDSU, the coalition includes university scientists from 27 other states and Ontario; grower checkoff organizations, including the North Central Soybean Research Program, United Soybean Board and several state soybean promotion boards; and corporate partners including BASF, Bayer, Growmark, Nufarm, Pioneer (Corteva), Syngenta, UPL Ltd., Valent and Winfield United.
“SCN has caused more than $1.5 billion in yield losses each year in the U.S. It was first detected in Union County in 1995 and has spread to more than 30 soybean-producing counties in South Dakota. Research conducted at South Dakota State University has shown SCN is overcoming genetic resistance,” said Mathew. “Through The SCN Coalition, we have a coordinated effort with the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and other committed partners to help the soybean farmers in the state and throughout the U.S.”
In many soybean fields, SCN has become resistant to the most common source of SCN resistance known as PI 88788. Market research conducted in 2015 and repeated in 2020, showed many farmers were unaware of SCN’s resistance until The SCN Coalition created the campaign to bring attention to the importance of management strategies. The campaign has motivated up to 18% more farmers to actively manage SCN, enabling them to farm more sustainably—both economically and environmentally. Even the most conservative estimates show the coalition’s campaign likely saved soybean farmers millions of dollars annually.
Recommendations and resources developed by The SCN Coalition can be found at www.thescncoalition.com.